|Kangaroo Court||Anthony Milne opines on the "war crimes" trials of Slobodan Mllosevic and others|
The extradition of Slobodan Milosevic to the "international war crimes tribunal" in Holland is the act of a kangaroo court that is riding roughshod over the constitutional sovereignty of nations. It spells great danger for international stability and has sent shock waves through the intellectual establishment.
There is something extremely oppressive about a "court" that can initiate investigations and arrest former heads of state who are actually in custody in their own countries, and which can function without any political supervision or accountability.
Bear in mind that Milosevic was elected President of Serbia in 1989 and President of Yugoslavia in 1997. The elections were contested by other candidates, and indeed the electorate, as was their right, voted him out of office in October 2000. He was later arrested by the succeeding administration in Serbia for corruption and human rights abuses. What right, therefore, has the UN or any outside body to demand his extradition to a foreign country to "stand trial"? We are in danger of having not only world government, but one global currency, a borderless world and a one-world court responsible to no-one except self-appointed western cosmopolitan liberals, the same people who have done such enormous social and moral harm to the societies they govern.
Most of the instigators and adjudicators of this new "tribunal" are diehard western feminists, working to their own political agenda. Louise Arbour is "head" of the tribunal and issued the warrant for Milosevic's arrest at the height of the NATO bombing campaign against Yugoslavia which itself was largely responsible for the human rights abuses she is complaining about. Another is Carla Del Ponte, also the putative head of the proposed "World Criminal Court". Yet another is Nancy Paterson, chief of the "prosecutors' office". And yet another is Diane Orentlicher, director of the "War Crimes Research Office" at some obscure American university.
All of these women are aided by a motley crew of un-elected aid donors, lackey NATO commanders, UN plutocrats and liberal lawyers who have decided that the individuals they accuse of "war crimes" are guilty even before they get into the dock.
Since the end of the Cold War, the UN has set itself up as ruler of the Holy Moral Empire. Like the EU, it has gone for bigness as a proxy form of moral worth. But the UN is made up of mostly unsavoury Third World states - think of Sudan and Cuba voting themselves onto the UN Human Rights Commission while the United States loses its seat!
NATO is a legitimate military alliance whose record has been a good one in acting as a front-line barrier against Communist aggression. But it is under political control, and was forced to bomb Serbia against its commanders' better judgement. Under UN and NATO banners, liberals have air-raided Iraq, colonised the Balkans and saturated Africa and the Middle East with arms.
Further, the current battles in Macedonia are Albanian nationalism in Kosovo, after the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) was allowed to become an arrogant regional bully-boy.
Kofi Annan, an African whose blood brethren are still committing horrendous atrocities in about ten African conflicts, declares that under globalisation "human rights" are more important than state sovereignty. Tony Blair has spoken of wars not to defend territory but to enforce "globalised values" (one of them being "to install a multi-ethnic democracy", whatever that's supposed to mean, in Yugoslavia). But he bombed Serbia on behalf of the Kosovars in the spring of 1999 primarily to give his government an aura of moral authority and a sense of mission.
One law for the strong
There is a glaring lack of even-handedness here. If Milosevic, then why not Vladimir Putin, who has been accused of war crimes in Chechnya? NATO bombed Serbia but would not dare to bomb Moscow - this is what realpolitik is about. In other words, international justice is to be applied by the strong states against the weak ones (or against the political policies the judges dislike!).
For example, there is talk now, almost 19 years after the event, of prosecuting Ariel Sharon for his involvement in the massacres of Palestinians in Lebanon. Why now? Simply because lots of Europeans don't like Mr Sharon's policies as prime minister. Some critics want Dr Henry Kissinger to face trial for his war policies in Cambodia some 30 years ago, again because they oppose those policies.
The sordidness of the Milosevic affair is best illustrated by the way the Serbs were blackmailed into virtually selling him to the globalist lynch mob for $1.30 billion. It simply encourages Serbians to believe that their country is the victim of a concerted Western plot to kick them out of ancient homelands and parade their leaders before alien tribunals. Vojislav Kostunica, the present President of Yugoslavia and a Serb nationalist, has called The Hague tribunal a "tool of the West."
Milosevic rose to power by defending Serbs against Albanian atrocities in Kosovo, and orchestrated the expulsion of non-Serbs from much of Bosnia and Kosovo. But the West's hypocrisy was to fete his partner in the Balkans, Franjo Tudjman of Croatia, thus displaying partiality that was bitterly resented by ordinary Serbs, especially as it was alleged that some quarter of a million Krajina Serbs had been 'cleansed' under Tudjman's regime. Further, at the Dayton peace accord in 1992, which Milosevic freely attended, he shook hands with President Clinton. Is Clinton now a "war criminal"?
Lack of proof
In any event, the tribunal will have a hard time proving any of the Serbian "war crimes". The media term "mass rapes" was used in 1999 to justify the NATO bombardment of Yugoslavia. Although isolated rapes did take place, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe later found no "organised" rape policy nor "rape camps". Neither was there any evidence of genocide, nor of any policy of forced expulsions of Albanians from Kosovo. People were fleeing the NATO bombing, with thousands being uprooted by Serbian forces, especially from areas where KLA mercenaries were operating. Indeed there were more Serbs fleeing the bombing than Albanians, in fact, as many as 100,000.
When the US State Department issued a report talking of "systematic executions", they had to admit that "there is no suggestion that American intelligence agencies had been able to verify most, or even many of the accounts."
On June 17th 1999, Foreign Office minister Geoff Hoon talked about "10,000 ethnic Albanians" having been killed - a considerable drop from the 100,000 to 500,000 mentioned by the US State Dept. on April 19th. The question of "mass graves", with each supposedly filled with thousands of Albanian victims, is even more doubtful. In mid-June 1999 the FBI sent a team to investigate two of the sites, but it came up with no reports about mass graves. A Spanish forensic team found only 187 bodies when told to expect at least 2,000 - quite a considerable difference! Most appeared to have been victims of mortar shells and firearms.
In July a "mass grave" at Ljubenic, near Pee, believed to be holding some 350 corpses, produced only seven. In Izbica refugees reported that 150 ethnic Albanians were executed in March 1999, but their bodies were nowhere to be found.
Mass atrocities ascribed to Milosevic allegedly occurred at the Trepca mine, with thousands of bodies thrown down mine shafts. In October the War Crimes Tribunal for Yugoslavia itself admitted that not one body was found in the mine shafts.
Through a process of monopoly control, repetition and propaganda hype, the media achieved self-confirmation of what they hoped to find, so as to firm up the images they had fabricated themselves for the purpose of their witch-hunts.
It is this biased reporting, more than anything, that has provided the hysteria that has spurred the "war crimes tribunal" fanatics.